HIV Microbiome Research
Dr. Lozupone began doing HIV microbiome research in 2012, when as a post doctoral fellow she began working with the NIH-sponsored Lung HIV Microbiome Project (LHMP). While evaluating the fecal microbiota of the LHMP cohort, we observed strong and characteristic differences in the gut microbiome of HIV-infected populations and this formed the basis of subsequent NIH funded work on factors mediating gut microbiota dysbiosis and metabolic disease in HIV infected individuals. We later showed that these differences were largely driven by sexual behavior in Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) and used in vitro stimulations and gnotobiotic mice to show that this altered microbiome stimulates increased immune activation and has a potential role in HIV transmission. We also completed a systems analysis of gut microbiome influence on metabolic disease in HIV and high-risk populations and have ongoing NIH funded work in this area. The Lozupone lab also has collaborated on HIV studies in a variety of different settings, including comparing the gut microbiome in different ART regimens in Mexico and evaluating drivers of gut microbiome differences in a pediatric cohort in Cameroon. We are also currently working on NIH funded projects on the interaction between diet and disease in HIV infected subjects in the US and in Zimbabwe and also on in-depth analysis of gut immune interactions in the intestinal mucosa of HIV infected individuals.